It is estimated that around 80% of start-ups in South Africa fail in the first year. Yet, small businesses are seen as a catalyst for the growth and development of the South African economy and employment opportunities. Hence, the importance to support these businesses cannot be understated.
Yolande Steyn, newly appointed Head of FNB Innovation explains that “South African entrepreneurs require enabling platforms that will help them get going faster, grow quicker, and operate more efficiently. Besides enabling simpler banking solutions for our customers, we also assist and ensure that entrepreneurs are well looked after.”
FNB has a number of unique business innovations that are available for free.
“You can open your Business Account online, do your CIPC registration through our online channels and get assistance with your BEE certification online, all for free.” She adds that “Other FNB Business value-add services like Doc Trail™, Business Directory, Instant Accounting, Instant Cash Flow and Instant Invoicing helps ease the administrative burden and maximise their chances of success. It’s all about helping entrepreneurs get started, save costs and ultimately help them grow.”.
These FNB Business tools are part of a greater set of innovative products and services FNB offers. “FNB’s customers are at the heart of why we innovate, and our innovation strategy is focused on creating meaningful innovative products and services for all our customers.” explains Steyn. One way that FNB enables innovation is through their Innovators programme that has rewarded staff with over R42m in prizes since its inception in 2004.
Further to the enablement of internal innovation, FNB further displays its support of South African innovation through the funding and support of a number of programmes that incubate and accelerate innovation and entrepreneurship.
“Our involvement in the various programmes provides us with the opportunity to give entrepreneurs a head start in their business journey. Partnering with properties like the FNB Business Innovation Awards and Endeavour, SiMODiSA, Silicon Cape, _wethinkcode and the FNB Business Accelerator has ensured that we help develop and incubate innovators that disrupt and change the status quo,” says Steyn.
“Radical yet meaningful innovation is our DNA”, Steyn adds. Staying resilient through these tough economic times should be a key focus for all entrepreneurs and business owners. “A shift in the current business mind-set is needed. By encouraging and adapting to new technologies we can all make a difference. FNB is leading that thinking, both for our own customers, as well as making a meaningful impact towards business growth, training and job creation. ” concludes Steyn.